Genetic and Molecular Plant Science - Master's Programme in Biology 2021/2022

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The Master's Programme in Biology, specialising in Genetic and Molecular Plant Science, focuses on the growth of plants, their development and interaction with surrounding environment and other organisms. The knowledge is applied within research, plant breeding, genetic engineering and biotechnology. The specialisation is a collaboration between three universities and each contributes with its strongest expertise, which enables us to offer a high-quality education with an explicit orientation towards research.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Biology, specialisation in Genetic and Molecular Plant Science, is a first-class education and it gives you the freedom to tailor it according to your interest and career plan. It is offered jointly by Uppsala University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Stockholm University.

Together with the other universities, we offer a broad range of courses, including individual coaching, that will improve your professional competitiveness. The in-depth and comprehensive knowledge you gain from this programme will open up good opportunities for you in the future job market.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • create your own study plan to improve your professional competitiveness
  • gain in-depth knowledge for plant breeding, biotechnology or conservation issues
  • create a wide network of researchers in the field and an excellent basis for research.
The goal of this specialisation is to reach an understanding of patterns and processes in living plants, as well as knowledge such as genetics, genomics, growth and development of plant, and its interaction with the environment, that can be used in plant breeding, biotechnology or conservation issues. Knowledge about plants and their interactions are fundamental in the work towards a sustainable development. The programme also provides an excellent basis for research.

All teachers for the Master's Programme in Biology, specialising in Genetic and Molecular Plant Science, are active scientists, ensuring that you get an education that reaches the absolute forefront of their respective field.

Student profile
You have a broad interest in biology or a more narrowly focused interest in a specific sub-area. Either way, you are willing to take a lot of responsibility to form your own educational experience from the very wide range of biology courses offered at Uppsala University.

Ideally, during your Bachelor's degree, you had the opportunity to work in a laboratory and do some field work as well as use statistics to analyse data from your work. Writing lab reports and shorter essays is something you already have experienced doing.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in this international field.


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Biology as the main field of study.

All specialisations of this programme


The first course for the Master's Programme in Biology, specialising in Genetic and Molecular Plant Science, is Genetic and Molecular Plant Science. It has a focus on the mechanisms at molecular, cell and organismal level controlling different phases of plant development. Plant growth and development are genetically programmed, but to a large extent also controlled by external signals - an example is the many plant species that do not flower until they have been exposed to a period of low temperature. In addition to studying hormones and genetic functions, we also study how factors such as light and temperature affect the development of plants.

The next course, Genetic diversity and Plant breeding, is given by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and will cover genetic diversity and selection, traditional and molecular plant breeding methods, comparative genetics, biotechnology issues, and bioinformatics tools within the plant breeding area.

The second semester will start with the course Plant-Microbe Interactions given by Stockholm University. It focuses on the interaction among plants and their environment, for example, symbiosis and effects on plants attacked by insects and microorganisms. Within this course there is also a five-week project work.

During the last period of the first year, we recommend the course Functional Genomics at Uppsala University. It provides in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the large-scale and technology-driven strategies currently applied within the field of molecular biology.

During the second year, you can either take one or two courses, or take a research training course, to combine with a degree project of 30, 45 or 60 credits. This allows you to be well prepared for an academic career or a career outside academia.

Courses within the programme

See the outline for courses within the programme.

Learning experience

Biology instruction at Uppsala University is done in close connection to current research. All teachers for the individual courses in the Master's Programme in Biology are active scientists, ensuring that you will get an education that reaches to the absolute forefront of the respective field.

The courses provide factual knowledge and practical training in the form of laboratory work and field trips, as well as the ability to solve problems, think analytically and work scientifically. Communication training is integrated in all courses of the programme.

The Master's Programme in Biology has a strong international character, and all courses are taught in English.


In this specialisation you will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills for a career as s researcher, teacher or qualified investigator within higher education and research. Workplaces range from governmental agencies to private companies working with plant breeding, biotechnology or pharmacognosy.

During the second year, you can choose courses and topic of your thesis project according to your career plan, which gives you the possibility to develop the competence you need in your future career, within or outside academia.

Our previous graduates work at, for example, University of Pennsylvania, Singapore Botanical Garden and National Institute of Horticulture (Angers, France), etc. Job titles include PhD student, curator and consultant, etc.

You will also automatically get a network of contacts within the three universities and through your teachers you can gain contacts within the international research community. Such network will favour your career development.

Career Support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.

Genetic and Molecular Plant Science

120 credits

Autumn 2021 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2021-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1136 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is:

  • 40 weeks of full-time studies (60 credits) in biology; and
  • 20 weeks of full-time studies (30 credits) in chemistry.
Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:
  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact: Richard Svanbäck or Fredrik Sundström

+46 18 471 29 38 (Richard) / +46 18 471 48 35 (Fredrik)

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Biology Education Centre

EBC, Norbyvägen 14 / BMC A8:1

Norbyvägen 14, 752 36 UPPSALA/Box 592, 751 24 UPPSALA

Student portal

Student portal

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